I speak to the Peanut constantly. Even though she's only 4 weeks old and looks at me like I'm a fucking lunatic, I read somewhere that all my babbling will eventually speed up her language development and turn her into a literary genius someday (of course, the downside is that most of the literary geniuses I know are currently waiting tables downtown at French bistros. But I digress.)
Anyway...it took me a little while to learn how to speak to the Peanut. I don't have much prior experience speaking to newborns so I didn't really know where to start. At first, there was a lot of "hey, baby girl", or "Watch out! I'm gonna eat you!" That soon evolved into "Please, baby, please! I'll give you $50 if you stop crying." and "Holy Shit! I cannot believe you crapped that much!"
But I think I'm starting to get the hang of it now and the level of our dialogue has progressed to a much higher level. Even though we don't yet speak the same language, we've somehow learned to communicate and understand one another. The best analogy I can think of is that it's kind of like if you only spoke English and had to speak to someone who only spoke Chinese, but you both communicated using the limited amount of Spanish you each learned from watching the Simpsons on TV in SAP.
Yesterday, we had a nice long conversation about boys having cooties and how, if possible, she should try to avoid ALL contact with them until she's 18 years old. When I mentioned that this even included EYE contact, she kind of looked up at me and shrugged in a way that said, "Sure, Daddy. I'll try. But it doesn't matter anyway because nobody is as awesome as you." (HAH! Little does she know that this will be an ongonig conversation for MANY years to come!)
After our talk about boys, I then spoke to her at length about the importance of a good work ethic and how there was no such thing as a free meal. I told the Peanut that I was bringing this up now because BossLady and I had noticed that she was getting a little lazy with her suckling these days. We spoke about how the days of free-flowing bottle nipples were long gone. Now that her jaundice had cleared up, it was time to get back to work. After all, I told her, breast milk doesn't grow on trees.
But one of our deepest conversations was while I was changing her Sesame Street diapers. Since each diaper has a different character on the diaper, I thought it would be a good time to explain why Elmo is good and why Bert is bad. I always try to make sure that she doesn't crap when wearing the Elmo diaper and I explained to her that this is because the larger lesson in life is that Elmo is a friend and it's important to learn that you should never shit on your friends.
On the other hand, Bert is kind of a cranky asshole so it's ok to crap on him. Besides, I explained to her, they don't make diapers with Osama Bin Laden's face on them...yet!
(Note to marketers...if I go to the grocery next month and see diapers with Osama's face on them, I'm going to want a piece of that action. So far, the Peanut's college fund consists of some loose change and a couple of tic tacs.)